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The Reader [RSC Film Club 53]


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The first half of our awards season double-bill, nominated by @djw180, is the 2008 drama The Reader, for which Kate Winslet won the Oscar for Best Actress.

The Reader Poster Movie 27 x 40 In - 69cm x 102cm Kate Winslet Ralph  Fiennes Bruno Ganz Alexandra Maria Lara David Kross : Amazon.co.uk: Home &  Kitchen

This is a film I know nothing about, but the synopsis sounds interesting, with Winslet playing a guard at a concentration camp.  It co stars the always brilliant Ralph Fiennes as well as Bruno Ganz and Lena Olin.  As well as Winslet's win, the film was nominated for Best Film, Director, Adapted Screenplay and Cinematography.  

kate winslet oscars 2009 GIF by The Academy Awards

it doesn't matter what i feel, it doesn't matter what i think.  the dead are still dead

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Kate Winslet is brilliant playing a former concentration camp guard Hanna Schmidtz, and well deserving of her Oscar. The film is about both her relationship with Michael Berg (David Kross when a young man, Raiph Feinnes later on) and also about how Germany came to terms with all those ordinary people who went along with the n*zi regime. Teenage Michael has a summer-long affair with mid thirties Hanna, who likes him to read to her; hence the title. Then a few years later, as law student, he attends the trial of Hanna and some other former concentration camp guards. This is now in the mid 1960s, most of the top n*zis would have already have been prosecuted long before this. The film makes clear they are being prosecuted not just because they were guards at Auschwitz, but because of one very specific incident. Hanna takes the brunt of the blame, wrongly so, and Michael knows that. She won't speak up in her own defence out of shame and he can't quite bring himself to talk to her. I'm not saying more because that would involve spoilers. This is a fictional story, but I think they are trying to show Hanna being made a scape goat for the crimes others were equally guilty of and maybe suggesting that share of the blame could be extended a lot further. It's a great story, with very good acting all round. The support includes Bruna Ganz, who played Adolf Hitler in Downfall and some other German actors I recognise, but I'm not 100% sure where from in all cases.




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